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5 Types of Multimedia Content You Should Be Adding to Your Blog

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I’m a fan of measuring success. When we started measuring which blog article Tweets got the most clicks, we were interested to discover that the posts with multimedia nearly always got more clicks – sometimes 8 times more clicks than the average post without.

Writing alone is not the best formula for attracting new visitors through social media. While written content is understandably the “main course” of most blogs, imagine how your visitors would respond to some tasty “side dishes” and “dessert” with a greater variety of content.

If you’re ready to kick your blog up a notch, take note of these 5 ideas for multimedia content that will keep your blog buzzing:

Podcasts

One thing that makes makes blogging so great is a sense of anonymity. One thing makes blogging so awful is a sense of anonymity. Yes, we have the whole world at our fingertips, but we’re human, and humans need connection with other humans. An audio podcast serves to help visitors make an emotional connection with you, the faithful writer.

Not only do those connections foster loyalty and repeat visits, they can be more “viral” within social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The term “podcast”  encompasses both video and audio releases, which can be used effectively in certain niches that focus on sound (i.e. music), but are generally less captivating than videos.

Infographics

Since it was discovered that online readers generally “scan” text, there’s little doubt to why infographics have been so successful. Infographics tap into our inner “picture readers” (who says adults have to read boring text all the time?) by delivering information in a visually compelling way. Whether you’re digesting a study on the best timing of social network posts, or learning how to prepare for a marathon, it’s just a little more enticing in picture form.

Creating an infographic can seem a little daunting. Keep in mind, however, that yours doesn’t have to be incredibly long to be effective (see the “best timing of social network posts” link above). What’s important is that you gather credible information from personal case studies or reputable websites, cite it correctly, organize it, and present it with an imaginative design. If you aren’t much for the artsy-fartsy part, pass off  your information to a worthy designer, or consider using an existing infographic with permission and a link to the original author’s website.

Pictures

Sure, pictures are good. This isn’t news. What’s amazing is the number of blogs that don’t utilize this basic, powerful media on a regular basis. No matter what your niche is, there’s usually room for some creative imagery. The recipe/cooking niche has demonstrated this through the raving success of bloggers like the Pioneer Woman, who went above and beyond a simple end photo to create step-by-step images. Now, it’s rare to find a cooking blog without step-by-step photos.

Sometimes a relevant stock photo will suffice for visual stimulation. But, I think you can take it a step further and provide your own pictures. Whether you’re taking screenshots of the mobile apps you’re reviewing, or showing a photo of your workspace as you’re blogging about home offices, personal photos are both free and unique. It’s a win-win!

Slideshows

Why are so many news sites and blogs displaying their list articles as slideshows? Clearly there’s an audience appeal that keeps this multimedia blog layout growing in popularity. It could be the “chunking” of information that makes it appeal less overwhelming, or the visual appeal of large photos, or perhaps even the interactive button-clicking.

Personally, I would prefer to view an article in a traditional way rather than by clicking through a slideshow, so I appreciate when blogs give the option for slideshows to be viewed as an article. That way, users get the best of both worlds! If you choose to implement a slideshow on your blog, there are a number of plugins available that make them easy to implement, like the Content Slider by SlideDeck for WordPress.

e-Books/Whitepapers

If your audience is growing and your feedback is positive, readers might enjoy extra resources you could give out. Free E-books and Whitepapers (PDF downloads) can be enticing incentives for visitors to sign up for your newsletter list. Or, if your content is in high demand, you can charge a small fee and make decent money with the publications.

If you’ve never released a publication before, the easiest method is creating a PDF Whitepaper for users to download. If you’re not good with graphic design, it’s best to have a designer lay out and export the pages for you — there’s a certain art to creating a professional, easy-to-read piece. If you’re ready to take it a step further and create an e-book, services like Smashwords will create e-books from Word documents for you.

Now, it’s time to go liven up that blog!

This guest post was written by Marjorie Yao, who has been the Assistant Website Manager for SmallBusiness-Domain.com since 2006. SmallBusiness-Domain.com offers reviews and coupons on domains and hosting, including a selection of yahoo store coupons.

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Blogging

Blog Content or Promotion?

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Freaking both!!!

I just scanned a tweet. Someone noted how a well-read blog stressed promotion over creating content, going so far to say that blog traffic does not come from publishing great content. 100% of the time, this statement is not true. Why? If you do not publish valuable, helpful, great content, you could promote it in 1 billion places and nobody will care. Nobody will read it. You will not get traffic. Nobody will buy your stuff. You will not boost profits. I know top bloggers mean well, but sometimes they get so analytical that they blind themselves from truths, and advise bloggers inaccurately.

Blog content needs to rock, for people to share it, and for people to buy what you offer, or for people to hire you. But blog promotion needs to be top shelf too, or else you blog in a cyber cave. Nobody will know who you are or what you offer unless you promote your blog effectively through guest posting, through genuine blog commenting and by building your blogger friend network. No way around that one. Like I say in my course for getting featured on top blogs, you want to write your butt off and bond with niche leaders. This means plenty of creating, and plenty of connecting. Or, content and promotion.

But never get promotion twisted, guys. I received a few common emails this morning; strangers asked me if they could submit a guest post to me. I have no idea who they are, what they offer or heck, anything about them. But strangers who never earned my trust want to promote themselves and their blogs on my blog? Nope. I ignore these emails or alert them to buying my eBook so they can learn how to guest post on popular blogs. Promoting your blog is not about promoting YOUR blog. Promoting your blog is about building friendships with bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. Allow friendships to form. As bonds form, blogging buddies promote your blog freely, expanding your reach and increasing your traffic and profits.

Of course, you need to practice your writing regularly to create skillful content showing off your expertise. Readers only gobble up and enjoy content created by skilled writers. Skilled writers practice writing daily, either online or offline. Nobody becomes skilled unless they write a bunch. But skilled writers do lay the foundation for a prolific, successful blogging campaign because folks freely share good content published by experienced, expert bloggers.

Both Content and Promotion

Focus both on creating helpful content and building bonds leading to cross-promotion. Think of promotion being an indirect thing. You will not promote your blog in 1000 places daily by copying and pasting links. But you will make friends with top bloggers by helping them and asking for nothing. These friends promote your blog in many spots; indirect but powerful, and effective, in spreading your blogging word around the clock.

Keep helping people through your content and through assisting other bloggers freely, asking for nothing. Content, and promotion, both create a dazzling blogging campaign. Beware about getting caught up in either/or; focus too much on content and you lose your blogger friend network, along with massive indirect promotion. Focus too much on promotion by building your network, and you have no quality content for them to share. Easy does it. Balance between each aspect of blogging and you will become a successful blogger.

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Blogging

Does Blog Content Make You Money?

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Nope.

My eBook:

How My Wildest Travel Experiences Can Help You Become a Successful Blogger

starts off with a Bali Bang. I slammed into the ground during a wicked motorbike accident. Pain followed. Big time pain. Excruciating pain. What was my life and blogging lesson? Never take your eyes off of the road. I looked at a dog for a split second who’d been hit by a car or motorbike. Shaking my head at his injured paw, I missed the oil slick ahead. Ouch. 2 seconds later, I felt like 40,000 monkeys stabbed me in the back and lungs, after hitting pavement, Superman-style.

Blogging is similar. You will be punished if you take your eyes off of the proven, straight and narrow road of blogging fundamentals. One such fundamental is knowing YOU, not your blog, and not your content, makes money. Sometimes, we say blogs or content makes money because we speak in casual terms to help people see importance in creating and connecting. But getting clear, and helping you understand this simple concept, behooves me to stress how your generous practice, your creations and your connections make you money through your blog. Never, ever is it the other way around because blogs are inanimate objects. Content is an inanimate object too; it cannot do anything, or be anything,

You are the one, the blogger, the being, that puts everything into motion. This involves your generous effort, your willingness to learn a skill and your daily practice, creating and connecting for years, to make your content pop. Sure I sell stuff THROUGH my content but it was me, and my generous effort, and not the content itself, that did the selling. The content is not anything. Content cannot do anything. Content is worthless unless bloggers inject worth into it; see what I mean? The blogger makes it pop, or, makes content a dud, and that pop-dud outcome bases itself solely on a blogger’s generous effort and full commitment to learning their craft, day after day, for years of their lives.

You can and will succeed. You can do it. Really. But you need to understand how you are the center of it all. Everything moves according to your focus, practice and generosity. Content is a tool; like a hammer, if by itself, totally useless. Hammers need humans to work, and hammers need skilled carpenters to really sing. Content needs skilled, generous bloggers to make it sing, too, and the skills increase as your focus and generous practice, and service, increases.

Does blog content make you money? Nope, not at all. Put in the time and energy to helping folks for free. Improve your skills. Increase your exposure. In time, slowly add multiple streams of income to your blogging campaign. Allow cash to flow to you as people see you in all types of spots, making a serious impact where you show up, because of your blogging skills. Everything gets easier if you commit 100% to honing your skills blogging-wise because the content genuinely sings when you get the job done, with your prodigious, polished blogging skills.

Content makes zero dollars.

You, through your practice and generous service, develop the skills through which you make your content top notch. Profits follow.

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Blogging

Why Do You Want to Publish an eBook?

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One subsection of my eBook on writing eBooks is:

Know Why You Want to Publish an eBook

Knowing why gives you clarity if you write to free yourself and to free your readers. But if you write just to make money or to be well know, clarity lessons. Fear invades your mind because you write mainly to get, not to give. Shifting from fear to fun intent-wise just takes a little decision on your part. Small potatoes really. But this shift does feel a bit uncomfortable if you are new to the eBook writing process because you need to face fears. Who wants to face fear? Nobody, really.

But facing fear is one tax to pay for being successful in blogging and life. Ditto for your self-publishing journey. I largely faced fears to be who I am today, although I keep uncovering fears along the way. Part of the journey. I am cool with that. I had to ask why I wanted to publish an eBook about 4 years ago when I went on a tear, but even before, in 2014, I asked why I published an eBook in the first place? Simple. I created a new blog and brand in Blogging From Paradise and just believed having an accompanying eBook would help me be successful. I only had one eBook in mind. I never thought beyond the single eBook. But someone told me I deserved to write another eBook so after my first, I wrote and self-published a second eBook. I caught the writing bug.

100 plus eBooks later, here I am, writing eBooks for years, and now, promoting the eBooks effectively. The why, the emotion I chose in writing eBooks, propels me forward because I do what I do to have fun, to spread love and to help you, largely. One small part of me wants to make money online too. This is OK. As long as it is a small part of what you do, eBook-wise. Moving that money aspect mostly to the side gives me the energy to keep writing and to keep promoting, should I choose to write another eBook. Now I am all about promoting those suckers.

Why did you consider writing and shipping an eBook? Be honest with yourself. Think through your driver. Money? Fame? Sweet passive income stream? Each primary driver saps your energy because money, fame and passive income flow to you years or minimum, months, after publishing your eBook. What do you do during that zero dollar time? Money drives you, but you see no money. Since you lose your motivator, you quit. This is why so many authors fade into obscurity. Poor driver. Sell 3 eBooks, get flustered because you made $4.35 over 6 months, and quit, because money drove you but you made no money. On the flip side, bloggers and authors who choose a fun, freeing intent promote and write every day for their online career because the work is the reward. All else feels like a bonus, gravy, extra, or icing on the cake….including money.

Be straight with your eBook driver. Do not bother writing an eBook if you mainly want money because you quit and fail when money does not arrive. Even in rare cases if you make money pretty fast, you lose your heart and feel bad reaching money goals because we are mainly designed to have fun and help people, not to make money.

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